Local doctor helps man fulfill a life long goal

On September 7, Rick Friesen and three others will start out from Oceanside, California on a 3,400 mile bike ride across America. What would possess someone to put their bodies through so much? It comes down to one word – heart. Friesen was diagnosed over a decade ago with cardiomyopathy which is an enlarged heart that nearly always results in the need of a transplant. In Friesen’s case, no transplant was needed and he has since made what many call a miraculous recovery. After fourteen years as the head pastor of Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, Friesen stepped down a year ago to pursue work with another ministry, MANNA Worldwide. MANNA is an organization that works to provide food, clean water, and education to poor children around the world. Friesen is head of the Africa division of MANNA. His heart was drawn to helping poor children make better lives for themselves through the assistance MANNA provides.
“I was just talking to the Lord one day, ‘You know that is still one of my bucket list items (riding across America). I’d still like to do that.’ And the Lord spoke to my heart and said, ‘Why don’t you? You could kill two birds with one stone. You can raise money for projects in Africa and around the world plus do your bike ride.’ So that’s how it was hatched,” explained Friesen on how the idea for the ride came about.
“As you can imagine, your lower back gets stiff bending over riding a bike. Dr. Leonard keeps me in alignment, so that helps a lot,” said a grateful Friesen of Dr. Leonard’s care.
Friesen will be in Lee’s Summit on October 3 where they will hold a rally for the half-way point of the ride. The ride will finish on October, 22 in Bethany Beach, Delaware. For more information on the ride or how you can donate to the ride go to http://www.mannaworldwide.com/bike

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